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Since we launched this site in 2008 we have been contacted by various people with snippets of information about our boat's history and with photographs. If you can add anything we would be very pleased to hear from you. Below is a selection of contacts we have received.

Having damaged the drive shaft on our 23ft Freeman 'Ist of May' we first became acquainted with Harry Lincoln in early 1980 when he came to assess the damage for insurance purposes.

We spent many weekends on the moorings at Godmanchester opposite where Harry moored Brouhaha at the bottom of his garden (see right).

We spent many an hour working on the electrics (mainly) of Brouhaha. The main problem he had at the time was with the push contacts of the water taps...

David Watts, Motor Engineers and Servicing, Shefford, Bedfordshire

Brouhaha at Godmanchester
Brouhaha being craned in Brouhaha just launched

Brouhaha just launched

Hi, my husband, Alan Pease, worked his apprenticeship with Fred Carrington then went to Appleyard & Lincoln. He is actually shown in one of your photos of the building of Brouhaha. We have photos of her being launched which I will find and send to you. He obviously knows a lot of the history of the boatyard etc.

Alan is still working with boats, please visit our website.

Lynn Pease28th January 2009
The photographs which Lynn subsequently sent to us are reproduced here by kind permission.

Brouhaha about to be launched

Brouhaha just launched

13th August 2009

Hi Guys

I gather you know my name—Hugh Easton. When I rang my friend Gavin Ralph (Elysian Register) I was delighted when he told me what you had been up to with the former Brouhaha and immediately logged onto your website.  Great stuff!

It was I who took the photographs of her being built.  I used a time delay for some of them—I’m the one, all in black, offering up a window pattern.

Anyway, to start with, Brouhaha was actually built by us for one of Harry’s friends, a Mr Asplin—a solicitor.  I can only think that Harry must have bought the boat from him later.

Whilst I worked for Harry, 1949 – 1964, he still, I think, had a boat called Waterfly which I helped to build as an apprentice.

But to get back to your boat, this was the second cruiser which Harry got me to design and take the lead in building.  The first was the Lapwing in 1958. [shown under]


When I came to work on the design of Asplin’s Brouhaha I wanted to follow the same sweeping lines and integrated window layout of Lapwing but Harry would have none of it.  In spite of my protests we finished up with those dreadful omnibus windows!

Also, his wife had objected to the 45 degree angle of the forward screens of Lapwing saying that it was awkward for her to fit the curtains!  I said I didn’t create my designs around curtains but it cut no ice!

In 1961 he got me to design and build the 32ft Shearwater hire boats, obviously a development of Brouhaha, but I got my way with a slight improvement to the window layout as well as breaking up the vast expanse of the varnished mahogany cabin sides with cream paint as I had with Lapwing and had wanted to do on Brouhaha.

At the beginning of 1962, just before we began the Elysians, I designed and we built his last timber vessel, a patrol boat for the Norfolk Broads.

By the way, about three months ago I received a phone call out of the blue asking if the name Digger rang a bell.  Of course it did—he was the guy alongside whom I started my apprenticeship in 1949 and was later best man at my wedding in 1963.  Unlike me he still lives in Ely and is in touch with many of the guys there with whom we worked.  Apparently they have an annual reunion in November so I’ll be going!

Hope you like the photos of Brouhaha’s first few dips in the water.

Brouhaha just launched Mr Asplin's daughter on Brouhaha

14th August 2009

Out of curiosity, I went on to Multimap this morning and zoomed in on the Ely boatyard.  The workshop over the dock is still there.  This was where we built Brouhaha and all the others up to and including the Shearwaters.  After that Harry had his new factory up and running over the river on the Babylon site which was where we set up the Elysian project.

This was long before the bridge was built of course.  When I first started work there in 1949 we still had to use a heavy punt to ferry ourselves and materials across to the smaller workshop and slipway on the other side.  You can imagine what a pain that was, especially when the punt was on the other side and you had to shout for someone to come and fetch you!

A couple of years into my apprenticeship Harry got me to construct a 20ft by 10ft chain ferry which made life much easier.  Mind you, if it was on the wrong side you still had to shout.

On the matter of dismantling the foot bridge, I don’t remember us having to do that for Brouhaha but as you can see from my pictures [on the Appleyard & Lincoln page] we did do just that ready for the very first London Boat show at Olympia in 1954.  We exhibited a new timber hire boat, Falcon, designed by Fred Curtis, the foreman in those days.  He’s the one wearing the beret and Harry is puffing his pipe in the background.

I remember that first show well because I spent seven exhausting twelve hour days in that appalling atmosphere and had to have a week off afterwards to recover.  No one knew what to expect but the crowds were enormous!

11th October 2009

Now here’s one for the archives—Brouhaha’s first public appearance at the London Boat Show in Earls Court in January 1961.  I knew I’d taken several photos of Shearwater at the show the following year and when I was scanning them to send to you I realised one of them was different—and how!  The name board is unreadable but the window layout and curved, varnished ‘wings’ give the game away.  I’m sure you will also know it’s unmistakably her.

Brouhaha at Boat Show 1961 Brouhaha at Boat Show 1961

I am also attaching a copy of the 1961 catalogue entry for Appleyard & Lincoln which, as you will see, makes her ten feet longer—obviously a printer’s error.

There are two other extracts from that catalogue as well as two photos of the first Shearwater at the 1962 show.  The first Elysian was shown at the 1963 show.

9th November 2009

The Friday before last I went to Ely for the annual reunion of some of the old Appleyard & Lincoln workforce organised by my fellow apprentice and one time best man, Len Reynolds.  It was forty-five years since I last saw most of them—that really made me feel my age.  I recognised some of them but several had to introduce themselves!

(Hugh Easton was an honorary member of the Elysian Register as well as the Seamaster Owners' Club)

We are very grateful to Hugh for his wonderful contribution; most of his emails included photographs, many of which, with the information he has also provided, have been incorporated into the Appleyard & Lincoln and other pages.

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